Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Few Notes on Ravel's Bolero

"It was a volcano erupting-we had to climb to the very top before throwing ourselves into eternity."-Christopher Dean

Valentine's Day. 1984. Sarejevo. Intensity. Passion. Eruption. Ravel's  Bolero entered my life through Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean's gold medal ice dancing performance, the only Olympic performance to ever receive perfect scores. You can read their thoughts on their performance, and see a video clip, here.

Thirty years later. Sarejevo. Torville and Dean recreate history.

Ravel's Bolero grabbed my  heart from that first moment I heard and experienced it. Ever since when I heard it playing, I stopped everything to relive the intensity. When my kids were around, I called them over to listen to the piece and told them of Torville and Dean.  I showed them video clips of Torville and Dean.  I wanted them to share the passion.

I've always interpreted Ravel's Bolero as a story set in the Middle Ages. It was actually a ballet piece that Maurice Ravel wrote for a Russian dancer in 1928. The story was set in Spain. Ravel's longtime vision to write a piece of music that grew harmonically in intensity came to life in this ballet piece. For more on the description of Ravel's Bolero from NPR, read this.

Tonight I stumbled upon this cute video clip of the notes of Ravel's Bolero coming to life. =)

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